Cardinal O’Malley issues Christmas message

Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Sean O’Malley visited Pine Street Inn this morning and has a message of peace and love for all people this Christmas, said spokesman Terry Donilon.

O’Malley arrived at the Harrison Avenue shelter at 11:30 a.m. and visited both the men’s and women’s sections of the building.

“He served dinner and offered his prayers for them at Christmas,” Donilon said.

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The cardinal will celebrate midnight Mass tonight at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, he said. Christmas carols will be sung before the service begins.

“He prays we welcome the new born Savior with joy in our hearts,” Donilon said.

On Christmas morning, O’Malley will visit St. Francis House, a shelter on Boylston Street, to offer a blessing, he said.

He will then celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross at 11:30.

In the cardinal’s Christmas message today, O’Malley recalled “a starry night on a hillside outside Bethlehem.”

“We can barely imagine how much less our lives would be if those who heard of Jesus’ birth that first Christmas night did not believe, or if they did not share the joyous news with their families, friends, and communities,” O’Malley said.

“The light of Christ shines through all darkness and guides us, it strengthens and sustains us in our most difficult moments, it assures us of the promise of eternal life,” he said.

O’Malley said people must work together, as brothers and sisters, to dispel the world’s darkness, oppression, persecution, and lack of respect for human dignity.

“By doing so we give the greatest and most enduring gift; the gift of life in Jesus Christ,” O’Malley said.